By Jovillene Datu
The 64th Grammy’s took place April 3rd, 2022, featuring performances from BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nax, X and many more. The Grammys were meant to recognize spectacular work in the music industry, but over the past years the award show has been lacking a lot in certain areas. Famous singer Ariana Grande, and rapper Kanye West never made an appearance during the show, as well as plenty of other artists.
Over the years the Grammy’s have been criticized for being racially biased and failing to nominate popular artists of color, such as the Weekend. Although The academy’s failure to nominate The Weekend’s work came as a major surprise considering the widespread success of his 2020 album, ‘Blinding Light”, This happens pretty often in the show. When a group or artist of color is invited to attend, most of them are never nominated or are nominated, but never win any awards.
There have been many reasons why artists don’t attend the grammys anymore including the unfair treatment when it comes to performances and the whole award show overall. Ariana Grande has attended the grammys almost every year however, recently in 2019 she opted not to the awards show after a disagreement with their producers over her scheduled performance at that year’s event. Frank Ocean Stopped attending the grammys, due to the award show, “Not representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”Although Jay-Z doesn’t have a bad relationship with the award show, he boycotted the ceremony and spoke about it in 1999. “I didn’t think they gave the rightful respect to hip-hop,” he told MTV.
Statistics show on Google that from 2012 to 2020, that black artists received only 26.7% of nominations for the awards shows, while they represented 38% of all artists on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
There are arguments about non-white artist mostly win in smaller “racialized catogories. Back in 2017 Ann Powers, a writer for NPR, accused the Grammy Awards of systematic racism due to Chance the Rapper and Beyonce being the only black artists who won televised awards.
The voting process has endured criticism over the following years. Controversy has arisen over the fact that voting members carry bias because they are required to vote on a certain number of categories to maintain their membership. Grammy Screener, Rob Kenner says that, “There is an unwritten rule among the committee members to be cautious nominating an album by an already well-known artist if they did not want that album to eventually win an award.” Kenner also claims that voting members are more likely to select an album based on its popularity and recognition, even if they have never heard the music before. There is little known about who are on these committees, or how they are formed, and who puts them together; but, because of this controversial aspect of the voting process, it further creates a lack of transparency regarding the composition of the votes.
Fans have complained every year about the nominations and who received the awards. Unfortunately fans are not allowed to vote, and the awards are decided by voters from The Recording Academy.